Ninety-six outstanding projects and individual Manufacturing 4.0 leaders will be honored at the Manufacturing Leadership Summit 

The National Association of Manufacturers’ Manufacturing Leadership (ML) Council announces the world-class manufacturing companies and individual leaders set to receive recognition as winners of the 2018 Manufacturing Leadership Awards. ML Awards winners and their partners will be honored on June 13, 2018, at a gala celebration that concludes the 14th annual Manufacturing Leadership Summit in Huntington Beach, Calif. In addition, the High Achiever Award, Manufacturers of the Year, the Manufacturing Leader of the Year, and the Lifetime Achievement Award winners will be announced at the gala.

“The companies, projects, and individual leaders being honored with 2018 ML Awards are redefining excellence by embracing the technology-driven transformation that we call Manufacturing 4.0,” said Global Vice President and Editorial Director and co-founder of the Manufacturing Leadership Council David R. Brousell. “Their inspiring achievements are allowing their companies to anticipate and thrive through the dramatic changes now rippling through the global manufacturing marketplace.”

The 96 projects and individuals on the list of ML Awards winners represent small and large enterprises in a wide range of manufacturing markets. They all leverage best-in-class processes, technologies, and engaged teams to set themselves apart from the competition. Winners for 2018 include Ford, IBM, Cisco Systems, Merck, The Dow Chemical Company, and Johnson Controls.

Now in its 14th year, the ML Awards program honors organizations and individuals that are shaping the future of global manufacturing. Nominations are entered into 11 categories and evaluated and scored by a panel of expert judges. Ten of the ML Awards categories are for outstanding projects by a manufacturing company. Project categories include Industrial Internet of Things Leadership, Operational Excellence Leadership, and Talent Management Leadership. One category recognizes the achievements of individual manufacturing leaders.

The ML Summit is a unique, interactive gathering of manufacturing leaders from around the world. The theme for the 2018 Summit is “Accelerating the Transformation to Manufacturing 4.0.” Featured speakers include Michele D’Alessandro, vice president and CIO, Manufacturing IT, Merck & Co., Inc.; Brynn Watson, Vice President, Program Management, Corporate Engineering and Program Operations, Lockheed Martin Corporation; Alex Goryachev, Senior Director, Corporate Strategy and Innovation Group, Cisco Systems; Praveen Jonnala, Global Vice President,IT Global Busniness Solutions, Commscope.

The nomination period for the 2019 Manufacturing Leadership Awards will open in September.

Expert judges for the 2018 ML Awards were:

David R. Brousell
Global Vice President, Research, and Editorial Director
Manufacturing Leadership Council

John Gagel
Global Senior Manager, Corporate Sustainability
Lexmark International

Ronald Castro
Vice President, Operations and Supply Chain Execution

Brad Heath
VirTex Enterprises

Jeff Gallinat
Senior Vice President, Global Manufacturing Operations
Cisco Systems

Michael Packer
Director, Advanced Manufacturing Programs
Lockheed Martin Skunk Works

Val Zanchuk
Graphicast Inc.

David Mongrue
Vice President, Operations
The Dow Chemical Company

Michele D’Alessandro
Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Manufacturing IT
Merck & Co., Inc.

Allison Grealis
Founder and President
Women in Manufacturing

Caralynn Collens
UI Labs

Craig Bandes
President and CEO
Pixelligent, Inc.

Praveen Jonnala
Vice President, Global Business Solutions Development

Dennis Hoeg
Vice President
North America Chief Operating Officer
Nexteer Automotive


The ML Council is pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 ML Awards.

Collaborative Innovation Leadership                    

Cisco Systems, Inc. (Customer Heat Map)

Dotson Iron Castings

HP Inc.

LAI International (BA Stator Segment Program)

MBX Systems

Universal Robots (UR+ Project)


Data & Analytics Leadership                      

Cisco Systems, Inc. (Software Failure Analysis)

IBM Corp. (Watson Approach to Optical Quality)

Lexmark International, Inc. (Overall Equipment Effectiveness Automation)

Merck & Company (Model Area – Zero Loss Project)

Micron Technology, Inc.

NXP Semiconductors N.V.


Engineering and Production Technology Leadership                      

Ford Motor Company (Scalable Powertrain Assembly Lines Enabled by Flexible Robotic Technology)

Herbalife Ltd.

IBM Corp. (Singapore Advanced Manufacturing (Industrie 4.0) Initiative)

Ichor Systems, Inc.

Kenworth Truck Company

Johnson Controls (AGM Capacity Expansion Project)

LAI International (IHI Sheath Expansion Project)

Lockheed Martin (AutoDrill Integration & Enhancement)

Lockheed Martin (Fastener Measurement Tool Project)

Merck & Company (Design, Evaluation, and Implementation of Single-Use Components for Ebola Zaire Vaccine Drug Substance Manufacturing)

Mercury Systems

Nexteer Automotive



Saudi Aramco    (Demulsifier Dosing Automation Design Enhancement (Simplified Logic Injection Control (SLIC))

Saudi Aramco (Online Direct Conductivity and Online Single Solvent Salt-in-Crude Analyzers)

The Dow Chemical Company (Gulfstream Project)

Unity Scientific

University of New Hampshire – John Olson Advanced Manufacturing Center

Virgin Orbit


Enterprise Integration Technology Leadership                 

AGM Container Controls, Inc.


Ambrell Corp.

Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp.

Commscope, Inc. (BeehiveNet)



Johnson Controls (Enterprise IT Tools Supporting JCMS)

LAI International (Factory of the Future)

PACCAR Engine Company (Data Handling System)

Roche Tissue Diagnostics

Tractors and Farm Equipment Ltd. (Digital Quality Management System)

Toshiba International Corp.

VirTex Enterprises


Industrial Internet of Things Leadership                              

Ford Motor Company (Traceability-Enabled Quality Data Tracking and Analysis Systems)

Robert Bosch (France SAS)

Senet, Inc.


Operational Excellence Leadership                        


Card-Monroe Corp.

Cisco Systems, Inc. (Universal Order Visibility & Delivery Excellence)

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles S.p.a

Hologic, Inc. (Affirm Prone Biopsy Product Line Re-Layout)

Hologic, Inc. (Dimensions AWS Flex Line Kaizens)

Hologic, Inc. (Stepping Stones Towards Hologic Operational Excellence)

Johnson Controls (JCMS Deployment and Tyco Integration)

Lexmark International, Inc. (Technical Support Center (TSC) Lean Transformation)

Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals     (True North Operational Excellence)


Saudi Aramco (Oilfield APC in a Conventional Oilfield)

Schlage de Mexico S. A de C. V.

Segway, Inc.

The Dow Chemical Company (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and Robotic Platform Initiative)

The Raymond Corp.

Triumph International



Smart Products and Services Leadership                              

KPIT Technologies Ltd.   (Integrated Intelligent Transport System)

Lexmark International, Inc. (Auto Configuration & Debrief Tool)

Lockheed Martin (Fiber Optic Quality System)

OmniVision Technologies, Inc.

Puls GmbH

Universal Robots  (UR3, the UR5 and the UR10 Project)


Supply Chain Leadership                             

Baker Hughes, a GE Company

Commscope, Inc. (Mobile Logistics Transformation)

Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals (True North Supply Chain)

Merck & Company (Product/SKU Optimization)


Peterbilt Motors Company/PACCAR Inc. (One Piece Material Flow Kitting)

Seagate Technology PLC

TenCate Protective Fabrics

Tractors and Farm Equipment Ltd. (Differential Engagement with Suppliers)

Tractors and Farm Equipment Ltd. (Supplier Risk Mitigation and Disruption Management)



Sustainability Leadership                           


KPIT Technologies Ltd. (REVOLO Project)

Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals (True North Sustainability)

The Dow Chemical Company (Sustainability – Leading the Industry)


Talent Management Leadership                              

Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute

IBM Corp. (Competency & Talent Acceleration for Advanced Manufacturing in IBM Systems Supply Chain)


Visionary Leadership                    


Christopher Hillman, Starkey Hearing Technologies

Peter Holicki, The Dow Chemical Company

Gregory Marks, Markforged

Abdallah Massaad, RAK Ceramics, PJSC

Esben Østergaard, Universal Robots

Denise Ramos, ITT, Inc.

Dr. B. Kim Lee Sim, PhD, Sanaria, Inc.

About the Manufacturing Leadership Council

The Manufacturing Leadership Council’s mission is to enable manufacturing executives to achieve transformational growth for themselves, their companies, and the industry at large through enlightened leadership. In support of this, the Council focuses on the intersection of advanced technologies and the business, identifying growth and improvement opportunities in the operation, organization and leadership of manufacturing enterprises along their journey to Manufacturing 4.0. The Council delivers thought leadership, networking, and services around a member-defined set of Critical Issues that are shaping the future of manufacturing, including an invitation-only executive organization of nearly 1,000 members; the annual Manufacturing Leadership Summit; the Manufacturing Leadership Awards; and the thought-leading Manufacturing Leadership Journal.